Kenya: Supreme Court to Rule on IEBC Representation as Two Factions Collide in Presidential Suit Status Conference

Nairobi — The Supreme Court is on Tuesday afternoon expected to give a ruling on who will be recognized as the bonafide legal counsel of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the 2022 presidential petition.

The commission was divided in two faction after the results were announced validating the victory of William Ruto as president-elect.

The poll agency, its chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye are in one faction being represented by Senior Counsel Githu Muigai, Eric Gumbo and Kamau Karori.

The four dissenting commissioners who include Juliana Cherera (Vice Chair),Irene Masit, Francis Wandera and Justus Nyang’aya on the other end are being presented by Senior Counsel Paul Muite and Issa Mansoor in the presidential petition.

Both factions are seeking to be recognized as the legitimate representation of the poll commission in the happening of the court.

Muite urged the court to give a ruling on the matter arguing that his clients who include commissioners are the majority and hence they carry the day when it comes to representation in the court.

This is after both ends filed set of pleadings and affidavits on behalf of the commission creating crossroads on which court documents the 7 judge bench will admit in the petition.

“I am concerned as we rely on a resolution of four of the seven commissioners. We have stated that we are legitimately representing the commission,” Muite stated.

“Our colleagues have filed by the instructions of the CEO who we say implements orders from the commission. In the absence of the consensus, the majority have their way.The court should give its direction,” he added.

Muigai on his part defended their legitimacy as the bonafide legal counsel for IEBC saying that the four dissenting have no role in procuring legal counsels on behalf of the commission as it’s the responsibility of the secretrait.

“It’s not the mandate of the IEBC commissioners whether in minority or majority to procure any services it flies totally in the face of the procurement laws in the country,”

“As we sit here the four who are said to have procured the services of legal counsel have committed a criminal offence should be treated as such,” Muigai argued.

The Former Attorney general said that their appointment to represent the commission was done way before the current quagmire facing the commission.

“We have a notice of appointment as advocates that predates the entry of Issa Mansoor. Best civil practice would have required would have required a change of advocates was to be made and no such action was filed by the firm of advocate,” he said.

Documents filed by Chebukati’s faction indicated that the IEBC as an institution would stand its ground by insisting that elections were well run and results accurately tallied.

In that set of documents, the IEBC said that it tallied and verified results which showed that William Ruto had won the Presidential race.

Initially the four commissioners had filed individual responses to the petitions and had different lawyers representing them.

Cherera hired former Law Society of Kenya CEO Apollo Mboya, as Nyang’aya retained Rachier & Amollo Advocates. Wanderi opted for J. M. Njenga & Company Advocates and Masit went for O. Ouma J. & Associates.

In her initial affidavit to the petition, Cherera said the four commissioners met on Friday and resolved to file responses on behalf of IEBC. The four commissioners hired Issa & Company Advocates to file a fresh set of documents to respond to the petitions on behalf of IEBC.

The four commissioners have asked the Supreme Court to nullify the presidential elections and order for a forensic audit of the polls body’s systems and equipment.


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